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In tho daies Joon Baptist cam and prechid! In those daies came John the Baptist, preach. in the desert of Judee, and seide, Do ye pening in the wildernesse of Judea, and saying, aunce, for the kyngdom of hevenes schal nygh. | Repent yee: for the kingdome of heaven is at For this is he of whom it is seid bi Isaie the hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the profete, seiynge, A vois of a crier in desert, Prophet Esaias, saying, The voyce of one cry. Make ye redi the weyes of the Lord, make yeing in the wildernesse, Prepare ye the way of right the pathis of hym. And this Joon hadde the Lord, make his paths straight. And the clothing of camels heris, and a girdil of skyn same John had his raiment of camels haire, aboute his leendis, and his mete was hony and a leatherne girdle about his loynes, and his soukisi and hony of the wode. Thanne Jeru- meate was locusts and wilde honie. Then went salem wente out to hyun, and al Judee, and all out to him Hierusalem, and all Judea, and all the countre aboute Jordan, and thei werun the region round about Jordane. And were waischen of hym in Jordan, and knowlechiden baptized of him in Jordane, confessing their her synnes.

sinues. But he sigh many of Farisies and of Saduces But when he saw many of the Pharisees and comynge to his baptem, and seide to hem, Gen Sadducees come to his Baptisme, he said unto eraciouns of eddris, 2 who schewid to you to them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned fle fro wrath that is to come? Therfor do ye you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring • worthi fruytis of penaunce. And nyle ye seie3 forth therefore fruits meete for repentance. with ynne you, We han Abraham to fadir: for And thinke not to say within your selves, Wee I seie to you that God is myghti to reise up of have Abraham to our father: For I say unto thes stones the sones of Abraham. And now you, that God is able of these stones to raise the axe is putte to the root of the tre: therfor up children unto Abraham. And now also the every tre that makith not good fruyt schal be axe is layd unto the roote of the trees: Therekutte doun, and schal be cast in to the fire. fore every tree which bringeth not foorth good

I waisch you in watyr in to penaunce: but fruite, is hewen downe, and cast into the fire. he that schal come aftir me is stronger than I indeed baptize you with water unto reI, whos schoon I am not worthi to bere: he pentance: but he that commeth after mee, is schal baptise you in the Holi Goost, and fier. mightier than I, whose shooes I am not worthy Whos wenewynget clooth is in his hond, and to beare, hee shall baptize you with the holy he schal fulli clense his corn floor, and schal Ghost, and with fire. Whose fanne is in his gadere his whete in to his berne; but the chaf hand, and he will throughly purge his floore, he sehal brenne with fier that mai not be and gather his wheate into the garner: but wil quenchid.

burne up the chaffe with unquenchable fire. Thanne Jhesus cam fro Galilee in to Jordan | Then commeth Jesus from Galilee to Jordane, to Joon, to be baptisid of him. Jon forbede unto John, to be baptized of him: But John hym and seide, I owe to be baptisid of thee, forbade him, saying, I have need to bee bapand thou comest to me? But Jhesus answerid tized of thee, and commest thou to me? and seide to hym, Suffre now: for thus it fall- And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer ith to us to fulfille alle rightfulnesse. Then it to be so now: for thus it becommeth us to Joon suffrid hym. And whanne Jhesus was fulfill all righteousnesse. Then he suffered him. baptisid, anon he wente up fro the watir: and | And Jesus, when hee was baptized, went up lo, hevenes weren opened to hym, and he say straightway out of the water: and loe, the the spirit of God comynge doun as a dowve, heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the and comynge on him. And lo, a vois fro Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighthevenes, seiynge, This is my loved sone, in ing upon him. And loe, a voice from heaven, whiche I have plesid to me. (Punctuation and saying, This is my beloved Soone, in whom I capitalization modernized.)

am well pleased. (Verse numbering omitted.) 1 honey-suckles (Wyclif, translating from the Vul

gate, evidently mistook the meaning of the

Latin locustæ ) 2 adders 3 will not ye to say 4 winnowing

CHAUCER'S PRONUNCIATION | The following may serve to illustrate the ap

proximate pronunciation of a few lines, witha long=ah as in father: bathed [bahth-ed].

out attempting Mr. Skeat's finer distinctions, a short = ah without prolongation, as in aha:

such as vahyn for veyne, etc. Note that ë is a at [aht).

separate syllable lightly pronounced, that u qi, ay=ah'ee (nearly equal to modern long i):

equals u in full, and ü is French u. đau [dahỏee]. vu, aw = ah'oo (nearly equal to modern ou in house : straunge [strahwnjë).

Whan that Ahpreellë with 'is shoorës sohtë e long=ai as in pair: bere (bearë].

The drookht of March hath persed toh the e short=e as in ten: hem [hem).

rohtë, e final=ë (pronounced as a very light sep

And bahthëd evree vyne in swich lecoor arate syllable, like the final e in the Ger

Of which vertü engendred is the floor; man eine. So also is cs of the plural.):

Whan Zephirus aik with 'is swaitë braith soote [sohtë). It is regularly elided before

Inspeerëd hath in evry holt and haith a following vowel, before he, his, him, hire

The tendre croopës, and the yungë sunnë (her), here (their), hem (them), and occa

Hath in the Ram 'is halfë coors irunnë, sionally before other words beginning

And smahlë foolës makhen melodeeë with h; also in hire, here, oure, etc.

That slaipen al the nikht with ohpen eeë,

So priketh 'em nahtür in her corahgës, ! a, ce= our long a; eck säke). ei, ey=all' ee (or our long i, aye): wey (wy).

Than longen folk toh gohn on pilgrimahgës, eu, ew=French u: hewe (hü-e].

| And palmerz for toh saiken strahwngë strondës, i long=ee (nearly): shires (sheer-es].

Toh fernë halwës kooth in sondree londës; i short=i in pin: with [with].

And spesialee, from evree sheerës endë o, oo long=oa in oar: roote [nearly rõtë].

Of Engëlond, toh Cahwnterberee thy wendë,

The hohlee blisful marteer for toh saikë, o short =o in not: [not]. oi, oy=oo' ee (near equal to modern oi): |

That hem hath holpen whan that thy wair floytinge [floiting].

saikë. ou, ow = our oo in rood in words that in Mod. | Eng. have taken the sound of ou in loud:

CHAUCER'S METRE hous (hoos).

A large part of Chaucer's work is written in ou, ow=oh' oo in words that now have the

heroic couplets: every two consecutive lines ū sound: soule, knoue (sõlë, knowë]. u long = French U (found only in French

rhyming, and each line containing five iambic

feet, that is, five groups of two syllables each, words): vertu [vehrtü].

with the accent on the second syllable of each u short=u in pull: but [boot]. c=k before a, 0, u or any consonant.

foot; e. g. =s before e, i, y.

| And bath' ed every veyn' in swich' li cour' g=hard in words not of French origin.

An extra syllable is often added at the end =j before e, i in words of French origin. of the line: e. g. gh =kh, like the German ch in nicht.

Whan that| April|le with his shoufres soolte h initial = omitted in unaccented he, his, him, Sometimes the first foot is shortened to one hire, hem.

long syllable: e. g. r=trilled.

Twen ty bokes clad) in blak) or reed] s=often sharp when final. = never sh or ch (vision has therefore three

THE TEXT syllables, condicioun four, etc.). t=as at present; but final -tion=two sylla- We have followed, with a few changes, the bles (si-oon).

text of The Canterbury Tales printed by Dr. th=th in thin or th in this, as in Mod. Eng. W. W. Skeat in the Clarendon Press Series, w=sometimes oo as in herberw.

which is based on the Ellesmere MS.

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GEOFFREY CHAUCER | In felawshipe, and pilgrims were they alle,

That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde; (1340 ?-1400) *

The chambres and the stables weren wyde,

And wel we weren esed32 atte beste. FROM THE CANTERBURY TALES

And shortly, whan the sonne was to33 reste, 30 THE PROLOGUE.

So hadde I spoken with hem everichon34,

That I was of hir felawshipe anon, Whan that1 Aprille with his shoures soote2

And made forward35 erly for to ryse, The droghtes of Marche hath perced to the

To take our wey, ther as36 I yow devyse37. roote,

But natheles, whyl I have tyme and space, And bathed every veyne4 in swich licours,

Er that I ferther in this tale pace, Of which vertu6 engendred is the flour?;

Me thinketh it acordaunt 38 to resoun, Whan Zephirus8 eek9 with his swete breeth

To telle yow al the condicioun Inspired hath in every holt10 and heeth

Of ech of hem, so as it semed me,

39 The tendre croppes11, and the yonge sonne

And whiche they weren39, and of what degree; Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne12,

And eek in what array40 that they were inne: And smale fowles13 maken melodye,

And at a knight than wol I first biginne. That slepen al the night with open yë14, 10

A Knight there was, and that a worthy man, (Bo priketh hem 15 nature in hir16 corages17):

That fro the tyme that he first bigan Than18 longen 19 folk to goon on pilgrimages,

To ryden out, he loved chivalrye, And palmers for to seken20 straunge strondeg21,

Trouthe and honour, fredom 41 and curteisye. To ferne22 halwes23, couthe24 in sondry londes;

Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre42, And specially, from every shires ende

| And therto hadde he riden (no man ferre43) Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,

As wel in cristendoin as hethenesse, The holy blisful martir25 for to seke,

And evere honoured for his worthinesse. 50 That hem hath holpen, whan that they were

At Alisaundre44 he was, whan it was worne; seke26.

Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne 45 Bifel that, in that sesoun on a day,

Aboven alle naciouns in Pruce46. In Southwerk at the Tabard 27 as I lay 20

In Lettow47 hadde he reysed 48 and in Ruce49, Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage

No cristen man so ofte of his degree50. To Caunterbury with ful devout corage28,

In Gernade51 at the sege eek hadde he be At night was come in-to that hostelrye

Of Algezir52, and riden in Belmarye53. Wel29 nyne and twenty in a compaignye,

At Lyeyg54 was he, and at Satalye54 Of sondry folk, by aventure30 y-falle31

Whan they were wonne; and in the Grete See55 1 when 14 eyes

At many a noble armee56 hadde he be. 60 2 sweet showers 15 them

At mortal batailles hadde he been fiftene, 3 drought

16 their + vein 17 hearts

And foughten for our feith at Tramissene 57 5 such sap 18 then

In listes58 thryes, and ay slayn his foo. 6 power

19 Indicative plural of 7 flower

the verb "long”. This ilke59 worthy knight hadde been also 8 the west-wind 20 seek

Somtyme with the lord of Palatye60, 9 also

21 shores 10 wood 22 distant

Ageyn61 another hethen in Turkye: 11 shoots 23 shrines

And everemore he hadde a sovereyn prys62. 12 when the spring sun 24 known

has passed through 25 Thomas à Becket And though that he were worthy, he was wys,
the second, or 26 sick
April. half of his 27 An inn (a tabard was
course in that con-

a short coat). stellation of the 28 heart

32 made easy ; i. e., ac- 47 Lithuania (a western zodiac called the 29 full

commodated in the province of Russia) Ram, i. e., about 30 chance

best manner

48 fora yed April 11 31 fallen

33 at

49 Russia 13 birds

50 rank $ "I take unceasing delight in Chaucer. How ex. | 35 agreement

34 every one

51 Granada quisitely tender he is, and yet how perfectly | 36 where

52 Algeciras free from the least touch of sickly melancholy 37 tell

53 A Moorish kingdom or morbid drooping! The sympathy of the 38 according

in Africa. poet with the subjects of his poetry is par 39 what sort of people 54 A town in Asia Minor. ticularly remarkable in Shakespeare and they were

55 Mediterranean Chaucer ; but what the first effects by a strong 40 dress

56 armed expedition act of imagination and mental metamorphosis, 41 liberality

57 In Asia Minor. the last does without any effort, merely by 42 war

58 tournaments the inborn kindly joyousness of his nature. 43 further

59 same How well we seem to know Chaucer! How | 44 Alexandria (1365) 60 In Asia Minor. absolutely nothing do we know of Shakes | 45 sat at the head of the 61 against peare !!!_Coleridge. See also Dryden "On


62 high praise Chaucer" in the present volume.

| 46 Prussia


And of his porti as meek as is a mayde. | His arwes drouped noght with fetheres lowe), He nevere yet no vileinye? ne sayde

And in his hand he bar a mighty bowe. In al his lyf, un-to no maner wight.

70 | A not-heed31 hadde he, with a broun visage. He was a verray parfit gentil knight.

Of wode-craft35 wel coude36 he al the usage. 110 But for to tellen yow of his array,

Upon his arm he bar a gay bracer37, His hors3 were goode, but he was nat gayt. And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler38, Of fustian5 he wered a gipouna

And on that other syde a gay daggere, Al bismotered7 with his habergeoun8.

Harneised39 wel, and sharp as point of spere; For he was late y-come from his viage,

A Cristofre40 on his brest of silver shene11, And wente for to doon his pilgrimage10. An horn he bar, the bawdrik 12 was of grene;

With him ther was his sone, a yong Squyer, | A forster43 was he, soothly44, as I gesse. A lovyer, and a lusty bachelerii,

| Ther was also a Nonne, a Prioresse, With lokkes crulle12, as13 they were leyd in That of hir smyling was ful simple and coy; presse.

IIir gretteste ooth was but by sëynt Loy45; 120 Of twenty yeer of age he was, I gesse. And she was cleped 16 madame Eglentyne. Of his stature he was of evene lengthe14, Ful wel she song the service divyne, And wonderly delivere15, and greet of Entuned in hir nose ful semely; strengthe.

And Frensh she spak ful faire and fetisly47, And he hadde been somtyme in chivachye16, After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe*, In Flaundres, in Artoys17, and Picardye17, For Frensh of Paris was to hir unknowe. And born him wel, as of so litel space18, At mete wel y-taught was she with-alle; In hope to stonden in his lady18 grace.

She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle, Embrouded20 was he, as it were a mede21 Ne wette hir fingres in hir sauce depe. Al ful of fresshe floures, whyte and rede. 90 | Wel coude she carie a morsel, and wel kepe, 138 Singinge he was, or floytinge22, al the day; That no drope ne fille18 up-on hir brest. He was as fresh as is the month of May. In curteisye was set ful moche hir lest49, Short was his goune, with sleves longe and Hir over lippe wyped she so clene, wyde.

That in hir coppe50 was no ferthing sene Wel coude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde. Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir draughte. He coude songes make and wel endyte23, Ful semely after hir mete she raughte51, Iuste24 and eek daunce, and wel purtreye25 and And sikerly52 she was of greet disport53, wryte.

And ful plesaunt, and amiable of port54, Se hote26 he lovede, that by nightertale27 And peyned55 hir to countrefete56 chere57 He sleep namore than doth a nightingale. Of court, and been estatlich58 of manere, 140 Curteys he was, lowly, and servisable,

And to ben holden digne59 of reverence. And carf28 biforn his fader at the table. 100 But, for to speken of hir conscience,

A Yeman hadde he21, and servaunts namo30 She was so charitable and so pitousio, At that tyme, for him liste31 ryde so;

She wolde wepe, if that she sawe a mous And he was clad in cote and hood of grene; Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde. A sheef of pecok arwes brighte and kene Of smale houndes had she, that she fedde Under his belt he bar ful thriftily,

With rosted flesh, or milk and wastel breed61. (Wel coude he dresse his takel yemanly33 : But sore weep she if oon of hem were deed,

1 bearing
2 unbecoming word
3 horses
4 gaily dressed
5 coarse cloth
6 a short tight-fitting

7 spotted
8 coat of mail
9 voyage
10 In order to give

thanks for his safe

return. 11 An aspirant for

knighthood. 12 cury 13 as if 14 average height 15 nimble 16 military expeditions 17 An ancient province

18 con sidering the

shortness of the 34 nut-head, a closely 46 named

cropped head

47 daintily, exactly
19 lady's
35 W006-craft

48 fell
20 embroidered
36 knew

49 pleasure
21 meadow

37 guard for the arm 50 cup
22 playing the flute
38 shield

51 reached
23 compose
39 equipped

52 surely
24 joust (engage in a 40 image of St. Christo 53 good humor


54 bearing
23 draw
41 bright

55 took pains
26 hotly

42 girdle worn over the 56 imitate 27 night-time


57 behavior
28 carved
43 forester

58 to be dignified
29 the knight
44 truly

59 worthy
30 no more

45 St. Eloy or Loy or 60 compassionate 31 it pleased him

Eligius, patron 61 bread made of the 32 arrows

saint of gold

best for --Anke33 order his tackle

bread (equipment) in * Stratford le Bow, where there was a Renndir. yeomanlike man

of France.


tine nunnery, and where Anglo-Fiench would ner

be spoken, rather than the Parisian kili

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Or if men smoot it with a yerdei smerte2: | Therefor he was a pricasour29 aright;
And al was conscience and tendre herte. 150 Grehoundes he hadde, as swifte as fowel in
Ful semely hir wimpel3 pinchedt was;

Hir nose tretys); hir eyen greye as glas; Of priking and of hunting for the hare 191
Hir mouth ful smal, and ther-to softe and reed; Was al his lust 30, for no cost wolde he spare.
But sikerlyn she hadde a fair forheed.

I seigh31 his sleves purfile(/32 at the hond
It was almost a spanne brood, I trowe; With grys33, and that the fyneste of a lond;
For, hardily7, she was nat undergrowe.

And, for to festne his hood under his chin,
Ful fetiss was hir cloke, as I was war).

He hadde of gold y-wroght a curious pin: Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar

A love-knot in the gretter ende ther was. A peire of bedesio, gauded11 al with grene; 159 His heed was balled34, that shoon as any glas, And ther-on heng a broche of gold ful shene, | And eek his face, as he hadde been anoint. On which ther was first write a crowned A, IIe was a lord ful fat and in good point35; 200 And after, Amor vincit omnia12.

Ilis eyen stepe36, and rollinge in his heed, Another Nonne with hir hadde she,

That stemed as a forneys of a leed37, That was hir chapeleyne, and Preestes thre. His botes souple, his hors in greet estat.

A Monk ther was, a fair for the maistrye13, | Now certeinly he was a fair prelat; An out-rydere, that lovede venerye14,

He was nat pale as a for-pyned goost38. A manly man, to been an abbot able.

A fat swan loved he best of any roost. Ful many a deyntee15 hors hadde he in stable: His palfrey was as broun as is a berye. And, whan he rood, men mighte his brydel here! A Frere39 there was, a wantown10 and a merye, Ginglen in a whistling wynd as clere, 170 | A limitour41, a ful solempne12 man. And eek as loude as doth the chapel-belle. In alle the ordres fouret3 is noon that can44 There-as16 this lord was keper of the celle17, So moche of daliaunce and fair langage. 211 The reule of seint Maure or of seint Beneit18, | He hadde maad ful many a mariage By-cause that it was old and som-del streit19, Of yonge wommen, at his owne cost. This ilke monk leet olde thinges20 pace21, Un-to his ordre he was a noble post. And held after, the newe world the space22. Ful wel biloved and famulier was he He yaf nat of that text a pulled23 hen, With frankeleyns45 over-al in his contree, That seith, that hunters been nat holy men; And eck with worthy wommen of the toun: Ne that a monk, whan he is recchelees24, For he had power of confessioun, Is likned til a fish that is waterlees;

As seyde him-self, more than a curat, This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloistre. For of his ordre he was licentiat46.

22C But thilke text held he nat worth an oistre. Ful swetely herde he confessioun, And I seyde his opinioun was good.

And plesaunt was his absolucioun; What25 sholde he studie, and make him selven | He was an esy man to yeve17 penaunce wood26,

Ther-as he wiste to han a good pitaunce18;
Upon a book in cloistre alwey to poure, For unto a povre ordre for to yive49
Or swinken 27 with his handes, and laboure, Is signe that a man is wel y-shrive.
As Austin bit28? How shal the world be served ? For if he50 yaf, he51 dorste make avaunt52,
Lat Austin have his swink27 to him reserved. He wiste that a man was repentaunt.

For many a man so hard is of his herte53, 229

He may nat wepe al-thogh him sore smerte54. 1 stick

house dependent on

a monastery. 2 sharply

Therfore, in stede of weping and preyeres, 3 neck covering

18 The oldest forms of 4 plaited monastic discipline | 29 hard rider

cans (Grey Friars): 5 well proportioned

were based on the
30 pleasure

Carmelites (White 6 surely

rules of St. Maur
31 saw

Friars); Augustin 7 certainly

and of St. Benet
32 bordered

(or Austin) Friars, 8 well made

or Benedict.
33 grey fur

44 knows
9 aware
19 somewhat strict
34 bald

45 country gentlemen 10 a set of beads, a 20 (these rules)

35 en bon point, fat 46 One licensed to give rosary 21 pass 36 bright

absolution. 11 having the gawdies 22 pace, way

37 glow like the fire 47 give, assign or large beads 23 plucked (he would

under a cauldron 48 where he knew he green not give a straw 38 tormented ghost

('ould get a good 12 "Love conquers all.”

hot is wo torlees.


for that texti 39 friar 13 a very fine monk in

40 brisk

49 give deed

24 wandering orva- 41 One licensed to beg 50 the man 14 hunting


within certain 51 the friar 15 fine 25 why


52 boast 16 wbere

26 crazy
42 pompous

53 heart 17 A smaller religious 27 work

43 Dominicans (Black

5+ he suffer sorely 28 bids

Friars); Francis


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